Pampore: A large swathe around the Pampore encounter site resounded with praise for ‘mujahid’ (holy warriors) from loudspeakers as Indian security forces fought terrorists holed up in a building for three days.
Mosques in localities like Frestabal, Drangbal, Kadlabal and Sempora played recordings throughout Monday eulogising the terrorists. Slogans like ‘ Jaago, jaago subah hui‘ besides pro-Pakistan (Jivey, jivey Pakistan!) and pro-Azadi (‘Hum kya chahatey: azadi’) blared from the mosques’ loudspeakers.
Hundreds of youth assembled across the rivulet at the site of the encounter in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, with clashes reported with security forces in their bid to cross the stream to try and physically prevent the security forces from launching combat operation against the terrorists. Sempora is a mere 15 km from Srinagar.
Police and paramilitary forces prevented the crowd from crossing the rivulet by firing tear gas shells from boats. In return, angry youths pelted cops with stones in a locality near Sempora, sources said.
Intelligence agencies, sources said, were taken aback by loud speakers blaring encomium on the terrorists. However, the police could not enter the mosques to stop these recordings, possibly supplied by Pakistan in recent months, said an IB source.
The entire Pulwama district, including the separatist hotbed of Tral, observed a complete shutdown on Monday in “solidarity” with the holed-up terrorists, stated posters put up by the separatists.